Who’s bigger?

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There I was standing at the bar in a black dress, holding my glass of Riesling, while slightly dancing to the band as they played Anita Baker’s song “Been so long.” As you can imagine the atmosphere was amazing and I was having a great time. The night was coming to an end when a gentleman walked up to me and told me I should come upstairs- where the real party was. This wasn’t the first time he mentioned that, so since the band began to pack up I decided to go upstairs.

Upstairs there was another bar, more people, and a DJ. The DJ’s music wasn’t as loud as the band so it was easy to have a conversation and be heard. He starts to talk and asks me what I do. I explained to him that I was a writer and recently published a book. He immediately starts to tell me that we need to get together because he wants to publish a book about his life.

I’m all about a dollar, so, I agreed! He began to tell me he was in prison for a while and is a member of the Nation of Islam (NOI). Shame on me for being intrigued by his religion; I couldn’t resist asking him about his personal feelings about Malcolm X. Keep in mind a couple of years ago the two men that were charged with the actual murder of Malcolm X (one of them still says he had nothing to do with it) were released and the NOI was asked to give a comment and they declined (gives major side eye).

The gentleman’s response in a nutshell was that Malcolm X’s ego and love for the microphone is what killed him. He also stated that the NOI shouldn’t have made a comment about the alleged killers of Malcolm X being released. Before I could say anything he said and I quote “Don’t let that movie fool you!” At that moment I had to speak. I explained to him that I’ve read the autobiography of Malcolm X, so the movie doesn’t fool me!

I explained to him that by the NOI not making a comment about the release of the alleged killers shows that they are still not over Malcolm X exposing The Honorable Elijah Mohammed. He then told me that Malcolm X just played on the emotions of women. Although, I didn’t agree with that statement I said “Don’t all religious leaders play on the emotions of the people in some way?” I don’t consider exposing the dirty deeds of a leader with mutiple women and children all over as playing on the emotions of women.

I was ready to shut him up so this is what I said- Malcolm X is bigger than the NOI and it’s mainly the fault of the NOI for his everlasting name! He was clearly upset. He stated that one man can not be bigger than the NOI. Let’s be real who has a stamp and who doesn’t? Whose life and death are acknowledged and celebrated?! It’s unfortunate that Icons and Legends such as Brother Malcolm aren’t appreciated for their brilliance while they are alive! However, his untimely death was orchestrated by the NOI, their plan to get rid of him only made him live forever!

That’s kind of what I call IRONY! From that conversation it seems that the NOI still has animosity and/or jealousy for a man that is dead, which is extremely disheartening to say the least. One last thing that the gentleman at the bar said was “if it weren’t for the NOI Malcolm X wouldn’t be Malcolm X.” I informed him that our destiny is already written out for us, he was going to be who he was regardless of the stops along his journey!

I view this conversation and the events of the past as a lesson. Instead of following others and focusing on what someone else may be doing never let negative feelings such as hate or jealousy for another person take over your mind! If you do, you may end up giving them all the power, praise, and longevity that you envied to begin with.

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Relationship confusion

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There seems to be so much love and happy relationships everywhere you turn. I am a person that loves love, all kinds of love. It doesn’t matter if it’s the love you have for your Mom or your bestfriend it’s an amazing feeling. However, I want to focus on the love that you receive within relationships with your boyfriend or girlfriend (significant others). There are people that love each other and show that love for each other by mirroring one another’s love. There are always those that demonstrate their love in completely different ways, but it’s just how they love  (Here is where things get twisted).  Continue reading

Who’s going to help us?

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After hearing about Alton Sterling, of North Baton Rouge, being murdered by the police I immediately felt dizzy. When I was able to view the gruesome shooting my chest began to feel tight and I could feel the chunks of vomit building up in my throat. All of these thoughts and images of the different men and women that have been killed by the police started to play in my mind like a movie. Then I started to think about how I would be harassed via social media if I decided to speak out against police brutality. Continue reading

Between Black men & women..

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The existence of Black people in this country (USA) is rooted in an extremely complicated past. By complicated, I mean children being taken from their Mothers and sold into slavery. Women being raped by the Master in order to produce more slaves. Husbands being emasculated by the Master in front of his wife and family; ultimately leaving him powerless. Did I mention women being raped in front of their husbands? Again, leaving the Black man powerless to protect her. Hundreds of years of beating, lynching, and being treated like animals has definitely taken a toll on our ethnic group as a whole. For hundreds of years Black women have been unprotected, and not just because of the cruelty of slavery.

 

Years after slavery ended the lack of protection continued due to the mistreatment and status of African American people. This system of being unprotected has created a storm between Black men and women. Over time Black mothers have taught their Black daughters to take care of themselves, provide for yourself, take care of your children – because men can walk away, and dedicate yourself to your work-, which in a twisted way is the current version of the Master!

Now we have Black men and women that struggle with understanding and dating one another because Black men think Black women are too independent. Black women think Black men can’t provide for them or protect them. Are we giving each other a chance or are we entering situations with preconceived notions? I hope I can clear some things up for both parties. An independent woman is simply a woman that can pay her own bills without leaching off of a man. That’s not a bad thing, right? Does money make a man? Just because a man may not make as much money as a woman (his woman), doesn’t decrease his value as a man. A man’s salary regardless if it’s more, less, or equal to a woman’s does not define his worth as a man.

There is no need to try to emasculate a Black man about anything. Especially, when he has the world already chipping away at him. There is no need to get upset with a Black woman because she’s expressing her feelings. The world is already telling her that she’s angry or calling her a “bitch” whenever she tries to express herself. It’s important to build each other up. If we don’t build each other up, who will?

Some Suggestions

You have to communicate with one another, which requires listening, or it’s not effective! Allow your man to be a man. Allow him to do things for you. Make him feel needed. Don’t be afraid to stroke his ego. Listen to him without interruption. Be cautious of your tone when speaking to him. After all he’s your companion not your child. Show him that when the worlds against him you are for him. Verbally express that you are on board with his dreams, and be sure your actions demonstrate that same support. Let him feel your nurturing side even if it’s by doing something simple like cooking or giving him a massage.

Tell your Black woman how beautiful she is. Listen to her without interruption. Make her feel like she’s safe with you. Be protective over her. Women appreciate the small things, so pay attention to her. Show her off in public. There is nothing wrong with being proud of the woman you’re with. Show her that you love her. Support her goals. Instead of telling her what to do make suggestions. Make her feel desired. Treat her like you would want a man to treat your daughter.

I’m not going to pretend to have all the answers. I don’t even think I have half the answers. However, I do believe this is a start. I know that we can operate more cohesively if we tried.

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Handle YOUR business in the bathroom.

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I take weekly trips to Target- sometimes three times a week. My trips include me drinking a Sweet Tooth Latte from Biggby and consuming a bottle of Absopure right after. After I go through the home goods, cleaning, intimates, and grocery aisles, it happens: the great bathroom debate. I’m stuck in checkout trying to figure out if I can retain my urge to tinkle until I get home.

I absolutely despise public restrooms. In fact, the only public restrooms that I have ever felt were decent are the ones at the casinos. By decent I mean I don’t think I’m going to die if my pants legs touch the floor. In some cases I have had to make a mad dash to the restroom in Target. During those times, I’ve never been concerned about who walked in after me, before me, or during my time in the stall. I’m still not concerned about who goes in and out.

Now, all of a sudden, there is huge conversation about Transgender people going to public restrooms. This has become a national issue about which bathroom a transgender person should be using. If you don’t know, a Transgender person is a person who’s gender identity is opposite of their biological sex. I’m pretty sure that a transgender person has walked in the bathroom with you before and used the restroom and you had no idea, because there was no discussion or curiosity about who someone was that came in to use the restroom.

So why is it a big deal today? Don’t all restrooms have stalls? In fact, the mens room has urinals and stalls. If a Transgender male went to the mens room and could actually stand up and pee, they are not only super talented but deserve to be in there! I struggle with the cup at the doctors office, so kudos to you! Are people walking into restrooms announcing that they are transgender before handling their business?

In all seriousness, use the restroom that you’ve been using prior to making this topic national news. If no one has said anything to you as a transgender person before then, keep using that restroom. If someone has addressed you to inquire about the validity of your sex for the bathroom choice, you can either ignore them or ask them to prove you wrong.

Everyone should concern themselves with their own business. I don’t want to hear anything else about people being concerned about their children being molested by transgender people. That’s an ignorant assumption. It’s especially ignorant because it’s a fact the children are mostly molested by people they know, trust, and love. All Im asking is that people educate themselves on the facts and don’t just go with what’s in favor of the masses.

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How to Play the Game of Life..

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Do you feel stuck in your own life? Do you know what you want for your life? Do you take on the problems of others? In “How to play the game of life: A guide on maneuvering through life’s challenges,” Ashley Rae writes about real life circumstances and what you can do to overcome the situations.

Ashley Rae gives details about her own life experiences and the steps she took to move forward in a positive way. She encourages you to take control of what’s in your reach, and to maintain your own self-satisfaction. In these pages you’ll discover:

-How to identify unhealthy relationships of many types.

– How to communicate effectively.

– How to find and protect your inner peace.

-How to accept yourself.

CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO PURCHASE HOW TO PLAY THE GAME OF LIFE:A GUIDE ON MANEUVERING THROUGH LIFE’S CHALLENGES….

http://www.createspace.com/5920641

http://www.gameoflife.bigcartel.com

You can also download the book on Kindle! If you don’t have a Kindle you can always download the free Kindle app to your device and purchase the book.

 

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Support DPS!

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A Detroit resident posed a question via Facebook to the Governor “Why isn’t the state of Detroit Public Schools (DPS) considered an Emergency?” Teachers have been suffering from massive pay cuts yearly and working in buildings with warped floors, falling ceiling tiles, and mold!. Although teachers have a union it seems since Governor Snyder made Michigan a “Right to work” State the strength of unions have changed.

The Emergency manager took over Detroit Public Schools in 2009. More than 30% of the funding that was supposed to be used for DPS was used to pay off the cities debt. Wasn’t the Emergency Manager supposed to help DPS?! It’s important to keep in mind that the people of Michigan voted against the Emergency manager and Governor Snyder overturned the votes and enforced his plan anyway.

If you listen to the Governor and his Administration they’ll say Detroit Public Schools enrollment has declined. What he didn’t say is that those students are sitting in the same building that was once a DPS school but instead he made it a Charter school! Those children didn’t physically go anywhere the Governor made a decision to change the school into a Charter school which, means more money being taken away from Detroit Public Schools!

Governor Snyder and his Administration will also tell you that DPS has a tremendous amount of debt. What they won’t tell you is that they gave DPS the debt that they have. What about the students of DPS? They are in over crowded classrooms, many without books, and the temperatures are either extremely hot or extremely cold in the buildings depending upon the weather outside. Why does Governor Snyder think it’s okay for children in Detroit to be put in an environment that makes it almost impossible to learn?

This is all too familiar! This isn’t the first time the State was allowed to take over DPS. When John Engler was the Governor of Michigan the State took over Detroit Public Schools. When the State got into a bind they dropped DPS literally and stopped providing the school system with the funds that were promised by contract. In return that left DPS with a large amount of debt which DPS has carried on over the years. It seems Many people forget that important fact of Michigan history.

As a teacher stated “It is clear that there is no equality in Education in the state of Michigan!” Is it a coincidence that this is happening in a predominately Black city and school system? The definition of institutional racism is “a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions, as distinct from racism by individuals or informal social groups. It is reflected in disparities regarding criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power and education, among other things. Whether implicitly or explicitly expressed, institutional racism occurs when a certain group is targeted and discriminated against based upon race. Institutional racism can go unnoticed as it is not always explicit and can be overlooked (Wikipedia).” You be the judge.

One of the most unjust acts is to deny people of education and then blame them for not learning!

Sources: detroitnews.com mlive.com crcmich.org freep.com detroit.cbslocal.com http://www.wikipedia.org

The Facts: Flint water scandal.

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During Governor Snyder’s State of the State address he spent majority of his time discussing the Flint water crisis. He was sure to say apologetic phrases and also to share the blame with local leaders. He stated that the Government,the State, and local leaders failed the citizens of Flint. What he didn’t say is that the local leaders were appointed by him and his administration i.e. Emergency manager.

Those individuals report directly to Governor Snyder. Elected local officials lack real authority much like the ones in the city of Detroit. The city Council of Flint voted to switch from DWSD to the KWA pipeline in Lake Huron in the year of 2017 which, is when it was projected to be completed. The Emergency manager and Governor Snyder’s team elected to tap into the Flint River until the pipeline was completed.

In March 2014 the city of Flint began sourcing it’s water from the Flint river. Four months after the switch the citizens began to complain about the taste and smell of the water. When test were ran on the water the results stated that fecal coliform bacteria, a disinfectant product, and high levels of lead were found. The Governor denied perhaps even ignored these results. High levels of lead were also found in the blood stream of infants and children!

Governor Snyder still failed to take action until December 15th, 2015 when he declared a State of emergency. An entire year and 9 months later. How can one be considered a leader when you can’t accept or hold oneself accountable for your actions?

This problem was created by Governor Snyder and his administration in an attempt to save 5 million dollars over a 2 year time frame. It seems evident that proper testing and safety measures were not conducted for the Flint River water system. It was just put in place with no evidence that this would be beneficial or healthy for the citizens besides the cost savings. Mistakes of this magnitude are irreversible.

It’s imperative that politicians are held to high standards! They are elected to provide and make decisions for the best interest of the people. Governor Snyder needs to do more than reveal his emails from 2014 and 2015: He needs to reveal his 2013 emails as well.

The Governor needs to take full responsibility for poisoning an entire city and show some remorse! Since he hasn’t displayed any of those actions, is Governor Snyder the kind of leader you want to represent you?

Shoot first ask questions later: Tamir Rice.

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To Samaria- I hope that the support that you receive from your family, friends, and supporters bring you comfort. I know the pain you are enduring cannot be erased. I just hope that there is something that brings you peace..

When I learned that Samaria Rice moved out of her home because, she couldn’t bare living so closely to the place where her son Tamir Rice’s life was taken my heart shattered. Then I learned that she continued to pay for the storage of her son’s body for 6 months after his death in case it was needed for more evidence: I couldn’t help but think all of this must feel like torture to her very soul. Only parents that have lost children can grasp the level of agony she’s feeling. Those of us without children of our own can only level feelings of empathy. Samaria has displayed incredible strength throughout this process.

A press conference was held where Samaria informed the world that the Police department still hadn’t apologized for murdering her 12-year-old son, Tamir Rice. It started to become apparent that justice was not on the side of the Rice family. Since we have waited a year to find out if the officer was going to be indicted, I must say, I had some hope that the justice system wouldn’t fail us this time. We waited a year to be informed that it’s still okay to murder innocent Black children and people. People of color seem not to be people at all when it comes police killings.

It does not matter that a boy that had only lived 2 years passed a decade was shot down as if he were a mad dog. It does not matter how he excelled in school. It does not matter how many friends he had or how many people loved him. What matters is his life was cut short simply for being a Black kid playing in a park near his home with an air-soft toy gun.

Our children are not allowed to be children. They are not allowed to play in parks, sleep on their grandmother’s couch, walk down the street with a hoodie on while it’s raining, or play loud music. However, our children are allowed to be criminalized even when there is nothing left of them but a lifeless corpse. Our children are allowed to be blamed for their own untimely deaths regardless of the scenario and, they are also told that committing a crime is punishable by death.

What can we do to keep our children safe since they are essentially unsafe everywhere? The justice system was never meant to protect people of color; so it’s technically operating the way it was designed. It’s time to reconstruct the justice system

 

Tis the season…

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Photo credit: Google

The holiday preparations started in mid October for retailers with their decorations and sale items. It seems that retailers push Thanksgiving and Christmas together. While many people are checking out sales prices on items their kids want and taking notes on what to get Mom for Christmas, others just feel somewhat overwhelmed by it all.

There are just a few things I want everyone to consider. Although you may consider Thanksgiving and Christmas to be the umtimate holidays remember that everyone may not celebrate or participate for Religious or personal reasons. The holiday season also brings about lots of sadness. Recently I had a discussion with a friend about how the holiday season makes me nervous and I actually dread it because you seem to hear about so many deaths between Thanksgiving and the New Year.

Therefore if you know someone that has lost a loved one please don’t attempt to drown out their sorrows with holiday cheer. It will not work and will probably make the person feel worse. I’m simply asking for consideration of others while you continue your holiday cheer.

Remember what the holiday’s are supposed to be about which is peace, love, and family. If you happen to have all three and more consider yourself fortunate!

Happy Holiday’s if you celebrate!